What to Consider When Buying a New CBCT (Cone Beam CT) Scanner

Nov 28, 2023 4:32:54 AM / by Chad Hutchison

Investing in a new CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scanner is a significant decision for any dental or medical practice. This advanced imaging technology offers detailed views of dental and facial structures, enhancing diagnostic accuracy and treatment planning. 

However, navigating the market to find the right CBCT scanner requires careful consideration of several factors. From understanding its critical role in implant planning to assessing specific features and cost implications, making an informed choice is essential. Today’s blog aims to streamline your decision-making process, highlighting key aspects to consider when purchasing a new CBCT scanner.

Why Is CBCT So Critical for Implant Planning?

In dental implant planning, the significance and contribution of CBCT cannot be overstated. This advanced imaging technology marks a substantial leap from other types of X-ray systems, providing a three-dimensional view of dental and facial structures. The depth of detail CBCT offers is crucial for various aspects of implant planning.

One primary advantage of CBCT is its ability to offer precise, three-dimensional images, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of bone quality - critical factors in determining the success of an implant. It enables dentists to meticulously plan implant positioning, considering critical structures like nerves and sinuses, thereby minimizing the risk of complications.

Moreover, the data obtained from CBCT scans can be used to create customized surgical guides, bridging the gap between pre-surgical planning and the actual procedure. This precision ensures that implants are placed as planned, enhancing the likelihood of successful outcomes. Additionally, CBCT is pivotal in assessing the jawbone's structure, identifying areas suitable for implant placement, and flagging potential issues that might impact implant stability.

Beyond the technical advantages, CBCT also enhances patient communication. The clarity and detail of the images allow patients to understand the implant process better, fostering a greater sense of trust and confidence in the proposed treatment. CBCT's comprehensive imaging capabilities are vital for precise planning, risk mitigation, and patient education, making it an indispensable piece of dental X-ray equipment for modern implant dentistry. Investing in this technology elevates the standard of care and significantly improves the overall success rate of dental implant procedures.

How Do I Choose a CBCT Scanner?

Selecting the right CBCT scanner for your practice is an important decision that hinges on several key considerations. Let’s explore some essential questions and considerations to guide you in making an informed choice for your dental or medical practice.

Image Quality and Resolution

The quality and resolution of the images produced by a CBCT scanner are paramount. High-resolution images are crucial for accurate diagnostics, especially in complex cases. 

Consider scanners that offer variable resolution settings, allowing you to choose higher resolutions for detailed scans. However, be mindful that higher resolution often means increased radiation exposure, so a balance must be struck between image clarity and patient safety.

Field of View (FOV)

The Field of View (FOV) of a CBCT scanner determines the size of the area captured in one scan. Different clinical applications require different FOV sizes. For instance, implant planning might need a larger FOV than endodontic applications. 

A scanner with a versatile range of FOV options can provide greater flexibility for various dental procedures. However, larger FOVs can also mean higher radiation doses, so your typical patient needs to choose accordingly.

Ease of Use and Software Integration

The user-friendliness of the CBCT scanner and its software is another critical consideration. A scanner that is easy to operate can significantly improve workflow efficiency. Additionally, check how well the scanner integrates with your existing dental practice software. 

Compatibility with digital impression systems, practice management software, and other diagnostic tools is essential for a streamlined workflow. Also, assess the quality of the software’s visualization analysis capabilities and whether it supports treatment planning and surgical guide design.

Radiation Dose and Safety Features

Another essential factor in choosing a CBCT scanner is the radiation dose it emits. As a general rule, opt for scanners that provide high-quality images at the lowest possible radiation levels to ensure patient safety. 

Additionally, assess the scanner's safety features, such as automatic exposure control, which adjusts the radiation dose based on the patient's size and the scanned area. This feature is particularly important if you frequently treat children or patients requiring multiple scans.

Size and Installation Requirements

The physical size of the CBCT scanner and its installation requirements should align with the available space in your facility. Some scanners may need more room or specific configurations for minimum or optimal operation. 

Consider the spatial layout of your practice and whether structural modifications are necessary. Also, factor in the ease of patient accessibility, especially for patients with mobility challenges.

After-Sales Support and Maintenance

Reliable after-sales support and maintenance services are critical for the longevity and optimal functioning of your CBCT scanner. Inquire about the warranty period, service agreements, and the availability of technical support. 

A scanner backed by robust customer service and prompt maintenance assistance ensures minimal downtime and continued efficiency in your practice. Additionally, consider the manufacturer's reputation and read reviews or testimonials from current users to gauge reliability and support quality.

Cost and Return on Investment

The financial aspect of acquiring a CBCT scanner is an especially significant and often stressful consideration. Evaluate the cost of the scanner not just in terms of its purchase price but also considering the long-term expenses like maintenance, software updates, and potential repairs. It's crucial to balance the initial investment against the expected return on investment. 

At Maven, we recommend considering how the scanner will enhance your diagnostic capabilities, improve patient care, and potentially attract more patients. Also, explore financing options and warranties to make the purchase more feasible. A thoughtful financial assessment will ensure that the CBCT scanner you choose aligns with both your clinical needs and budgetary constraints.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does a CBCT Scanner Cost?

The cost of a CBCT scanner varies widely, typically ranging from $50,000 to over $100,000. Higher-end models with advanced imaging options and larger FOVs generally cost more. It's also important to consider ongoing costs such as maintenance, software updates, and training in the total investment.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right CBCT scanner is a decision that can shape the future of your practice. Consider all aspects - from image quality to long-term ROI - to ensure your investment enhances patient care and diagnostic accuracy. For expert advice and a selection of top-tier dental X-ray equipment, visit Maven Imaging. Our team is ready to help you find the perfect fit for your practice's unique needs.

Tags: x-ray equipment

Chad Hutchison

Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.